3 Hurdles Every Board Member May Face

Posted in Board Recruitment by Jim
23 Sep

Board Member ChallengesEvery board is different, with its own individual personalities meshing for one common cause. Therefore, it is inevitable that there will a few hurdles a rookie or veteran board member may encounter.

3 hurdles every board member may face:

1. Not Doing the Homework: Not being prepared for the meetings could be detrimental to the board because then all the reading material may have to be re-presented to the board. That cuts into the time they have for proactive dialogue which is important in order to create an effective board.

2. Lack of Organizational Knowledge: Along with not being prepared, not knowing enough about the company and/or industry can be critical in the productivity of a board member. Not having enough information can cause uncertainty in a board member resulting in providing inadequate feedback in discussions. By acquiring more information about the company and/or industry allows a board member to have more confidence and reliability and be a valuable asset to the board.

According to Bill Hoffman, who has more than 30 years expertise in various aspects of board development, “if they don’t know the lay of the land at your company, they won’t be able to find the best areas in which to invest their efforts.”

Hoffman continues by explaining the board’s leadership should provide a thorough orientation, including the company’s history, who the players are (industry and board), what the stakeholders do, and, most important, what challenges are facing the company.

3. Dealing with the Dominate: There is one in every crowd they say… the dominate person or table that is. They’re the people who try to dominate a meeting, try to push their agendas no matter what the cost. We have all dealt with dominate personalities that overrule the conversation.

“[A troublemaker] on the board can take a great toll,” said Margie Russell, the executive director of the New York Association of Realty Managers (NYARM). “The good board members could shrink to the side and not voice their opinions in the face of these other issues. They may not speak up if they keep getting drowned out.”

Recognizing hurdles as a current or potential board member could help increase the productivity and effectiveness of any board. At the end of the day, a board is in it for the stakeholders by leveraging their own experience to benefit growth. For more information on how Cardinal Board Services can help your board of directors search for a new board member call or click here.